Although originally slated for May 8, the construction industry in Pennsylvania re-opened a week early on Friday, May 1st, with guidelines imposed by the Commonwealth. All construction businesses authorized to conduct in-person operations in the Commonwealth must adhere to requirements of the guidance, as well as all applicable business and building safety orders issued by the Secretary of Health, though localities may elect to impose more stringent requirements.
The guidance, developed with the assistance of the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, includes an array of distancing and cleaning mandates such as:
- Require social distancing (6-feet minimum distance between workers) unless the safety of the public or workers require deviation (e.g. drywalling, team lifting).
- Provide hand wash stations at appropriate locations on the site such as building entrances, break areas, food truck areas, offices, trailers, and job site egress areas.
- Implement cleaning or sanitizing protocols at all construction sites and projects. Identify and regularly clean and disinfect areas that are at high risk for transmission (requirements to clean common areas and regularly trafficked spaces periodically).
- Ensure all gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people, maintaining 6-foot social distancing, when required to meet, even when conducted outside.
- Use virtual meetings and disseminate information electronically to the extent feasible.
- Stagger shifts, breaks, work areas and/or stacking of trades where feasible to minimize workers on site.
- Limit tool sharing and sanitize tools if they must be shared.
- Employ jobsite screening based on CDC guidance to determine if employees should work. Prohibit from working any employees with any symptoms of COVID-19. Encourage sick employees to stay home.
- Prohibit unnecessary visitors to any project or work site, and limit supplier deliveries.
- Limit access to enclosed spaces to the extent feasible.
- Identify a “Pandemic Safety Officer” for each project or work site, or, if a large-scale construction project, then for each contractor at the site.
There are additional considerations and guidelines applicable to residential projects and to commercial projects. Businesses that have questions about the applicability of this guidance should contact L&I at RA-LIBOIS-BUILDINGS@pa.gov. Enforcement for non-compliance continues.
Jacklyn Fetbroyt is a founding member of Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC and is currently a committeeperson of the Voorhees Township Committee. Among other things, Jackie focuses on counseling companies and business owners through all stages of their ventures from conception to dissolution, assisting her business clients in all of their needs for maintenance and growth. On Township Committee, Jackie strives to be a resource to and ears of the residents in her hometown.
In this ever-changing landscape of information and legislation, please be aware that the information contained in this blog post may no longer be relevant or applicable. The content of this post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion.